I think almost everyone spends far too much time waiting. We wait in line, we sit in special waiting rooms before our medical appointments, we endure easy-listening music on our phones while waiting our turn to speak to a live customer service rep, we wait for test results, and this year, we’re all waiting for the end of a global pandemic that has really outworn its welcome. Most of that waiting is beyond our control and so we accept it and learn to adapt. We tell ourselves that what we’re waiting for will eventually arrive, and until then, we bide our time as best we can. I’ve managed to read entire magazines while waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store, which not only keeps my mind occupied but saves me the cost of having to actually buy the magazine.
But the problem with waiting is that it can become a habit, and not in a good way. It’s easy to slip into the habit of thinking that somehow our lives will be good and whole just as soon as whatever issue we happen to be dealing with is finally resolved, or whatever we’re waiting for finally arrives. We can become so focused on waiting for what we believe will be a better future that we tend to overlook the present. Or at least that’s what I find myself doing a lot these days.
If I can just make it through these next few months, then the worst of the pandemic will be over and I’ll be able to enjoy myself again. Once my husband gets past this next medical procedure, then I can relax and focus on the things I love to do. Once we get that new dormer put in our upstairs bedroom, then my house will finally look and function exactly the way I want it to. I could go on and on, but you get the picture. It’s as if I believe that I’m existing in some sort of limbo, just waiting for something to happen so that I can finally begin to live my life the way I want to.
Sometimes I need reminding that when whatever I happen to be waiting for finally arrives, I’m surely going to start waiting for something else. Which means that the best way to deal with it all is to simply live the best life I can, right here and right now. It’s amazing how much can be accomplished, and how much joy can be found, when we simply allow ourselves to live in the present, even with all its imperfections and uncertainties.
Hoping and planning for a better future is a good thing. But when we focus too much on waiting for that future to actually arrive, I believe we’re also cheating ourselves out of the good that can be found in the present. One of my favorite sayings has always been, “Life is for living.” I’m beginning to think that it’s time for me to edit that a little, and change it to “Life is for living now!” Because that’s the God’s honest truth……